Eight sailors and one firefighter were taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital after a gallon of potassium hydroxide spilled on the USS Annapolis at Submarine Base New London in Groton on Wednesday and they have all since been released.
Michael O'Farrell, spokesman for the hospital, said the nine patients were being evaluated for respiratory issues and skin irritation.
According to Commander Tommy Crosby, sailors aboard a submarine were exposed to potassium hydroxide while performing routine maintenance on the atmospheric control system and the spill was contained aboard the submarine.
Dr. Siri Daulaire, of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, explained what happens when when you inhale the chemicals and said they cause a lot of swelling and fluid.
If that happens to the skin, it's like a burn. If it happens in the lungs, it pulls fluid into the lungs and causes people to stop breathing, Dr. Daulaire said. However, none of the patients exhibited symptoms.
O'Farrell said the patients were brought to a decontamination unit, but had already been decontaminated at the scene.
The New London Fire Department responded to the incident and the Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company did, as well, according to the Associated Press.